Mysterious Toilet Draining Issues

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mferrigno

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Hello. I have a toilet that is very mercurial in a house I recently purchased.

Some flushes (10%) it works exactly as designed, some the water swirls around the bowl and never really drains fully but definitely doesn't back up either (80%), and some the water drains slowly and nearly fully empties the bowl (10%).

I've examined the tank and mechanically everything appears to be working properly. There was *a lot of black sediment* and some rust build up that I've nearly completely removed.

I've also used a 6' snake to clear any blockage. It did not help at all.

Finally, assuming it was a blockage, perhaps further than my 6' snake could reach, I filled a 5 gallon bucket of water and poured the whole thing down the toilet--it drained perfectly. This says to me there is no blockage issue.

So what's the likely problem? I'm stumped.
 

Mr_David

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Dump several buckets just to make sure.
I have had stoppages just beyond the reach of an auger and it takes 3 or more buckets or flushes to make it back up.

A slow drain will suck or siphon a bowl down as it slowly drains by the blockage.

maybe a picture will help. Show me yours and i'll show you mine;)
 

CT-18

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Flip the tank lid over and look for a date stamp when it was made. It may be that the ports are getting plugged and not allowing the water to flow in properly. Take that bucket and dump it real slow and see what happens.
 

mferrigno

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I uploaded a video to help. You can see the water swirls around the bowl, doesnt back up, and slowly drains partially.

https://youtu.be/FBmx8dSgFrs

The toilet was made in 1994 and neglected by the previous owner. We have well water and they rarely replaced the sediment filter, added salt to brine tank etc... so the tank of this toilet was filthy before i cleaned it with rust away.
 

mferrigno

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I've cleaned the toilet extensively. I don't believe that is the problem.
 

CT-18

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The holes on the underside of the rim need to be cleaned. I have done this with a pipe cleaner on more than one occasion. At 23 years old the toilet may be on the clock. The old saying "They don't make em like they used to" is true in some cases.
 

DFBonnett

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Had the same problem with an American Standard at my daughter's house. A small piece of plastic, slightly larger than a nickel, must have gotten down from the tank and was sometimes blocking the smallish hole at the front of the bowl at the bottom. Finally found the problem after noticing that when the flush was poor there was no jet of water coming from that hole. Managed to get my pinky in the hole and work the plastic out. Might be something to check out in addition to cleaning the holes under the rim.
FWIW
 

penguin

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I can see the buildup in the bottom of the toilet from the well water. Chances are the toilet is closing itself off with buildup. Urinals have the same issue. If you pull the toilet and look at the bottom of the toilet, you may see the buildup. You can try applying a descaler ( sizzle or clobber) to the toilet see if it flushes better.
 
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